Warm, rustic chickpea and green bean salad

I am so excited I can hardly sit still to type. Following my cauliflower and butter bean soup post I had a tonne of mail requesting more Christmas day menu ideas. So, over the next few days I will have a complete cruelty free Christmas day menu, ready for you to road test this festive season. To get things rolling, this sublimely fresh and rather substantial warm chickpea salad is the perfect accompaniment to the nut roast, which will be this year’s ‘main event’ at our place. Stay tuned…

Rustic chickpea salad

What you’ll need: (serves 4)
300g of green beans, topped and tailed, then halved
10 grape or cherry tomatoes washed, then halved
Olive oil
1 x garlic clove, peeled then sliced
1 x 400g can of organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 x lemon
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons of coarsely cut fresh mint
2 tablespoons of coarsely cut fresh basil

How to prepare:
Zest lemon into a bowl. Cut lemon and juice into the same bowl trying to avoid any pips, set aside
Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a simmer, then add beans
Cook beans for three minutes. Drain and set aside
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan, over medium heat and cook garlic for 30 seconds or until fragrant
Add drained chickpeas, stir and warm through for no more than two minutes
Stir in lemon juice and zest, then remove from heat
Add beans to a mixing bowl, then tomatoes, sea salt and pepper and herbs, then lightly toss
Add chickpeas and lightly toss again
Transfer to a serving bowl and enjoy!

Killer salad sandwich with avocado mousse and lemon and dill ‘cheese’

The humble sandwich has definitely become one of life’s simple forgotten pleasures. Fresh, light, cleansing and so damn tasty. These have become an all-year-round, weekly staple in our home… but as I’ve learnt, there’s a few tricks to making a ‘killer’ sandwich.

Sandwich 3

What you’ll need (serves 4-6):
Naturally, I buy organic wherever possible…
2 carrots grated
2 large beetroots boiled and sliced (allow an hour) see how to prepare beetroot here
1 cucumber sliced
2 tomatoes sliced
Lettuce leaves
1/2 red onion finely sliced
2 lemons
2 ripe avocados
Sea salt and cracker pepper
Wholegrain mustard
Good quality, soft bread with no nasties (I’m loving Ancient Grains organic kamut ‘giza’ sourdough loaf)
Botanical Cuisines’s lemon and dill raw, organic vegan cheese. You’ll find your local stockist here

Vegan Cheese
Avocado Mousse:
Halve, deseed and scoop out avocado into your blender
Add juice of one lemon and a generous pinch of sea salt
Blitz, scrape down the sides and blitz again, until light and fluffy
You may require the juice of your second lemon. Taste and adjust seasoning
For those of you with a Thermomix blitz for 15 seconds from speed 6 to 10. Scrape down the sizes and repeat 3 times until you have a light, mousse-like consistency

Avocado Mousse

How to make the perfect sandwich:
Organic and fresh is always best. And if you can’t find vegan cheese, just leave it out

There is a trick to layering, so your sandwich doesn’t fall apart and so that every bite has all the ingredients

Spread one slice with Nuttelex
The other with lemon and dill raw, organic vegan cheese, then some wholegrain mustard. Don’t be shy, a generous spread is best
Go back to the first slice and add lashings of avocado mousse then add tomato (4 slices), cracked pepper, cucumber (4 slices), beetroot (4 slices), grated carrot, red onion and lettuce
Pop the wholegrain mustard bread slice on top, press down firmly and slice
As you cut you can literally smell the the fresh, wholesome goodness

One more thing… never pack up your ingredients after just one sandwich because everyone always wants a another one

Have you tried my busy burritos?